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No look from Nowhere

Photography is in a complex, much-discussed relationship to reality. As an artistic medium, photography often challenges the traditional definitions of origin and authorship, and consequently both the photographic image and the identity of the photographer are called into question.

Working with photography within the art field I cannot escape the ongoing re-looking and re-thinking of the relationship with reality, which is why I used it as the starting point of my photographic project No look from nowhere.

Thinking around the notion of photographic representation I started my work by asking the underlying question: What is reality? Looking at this question I followed French thinker Jacques Marie Émile Lacan to his conclusion: “Reality is marginal”.

Reality depends on the look with which the viewer sees what he or she calls reality much more than on reality itself. To formalize this point, I chose to work with a Holga camera wanting false light to enter the plastic camera and frame the motive with a circle, in the shape of an eye.

By choosing to work with the Holga camera I also attempt to overcome the tradition of the image having a negligible penetration point. In my photographs there are no focal points, and so it is up to the viewer to find one for him or herself, or to see my images as surfaces upon which desire can be reflected.

The vision of the viewer is of much more interest to me than the possible storytelling of the image, as it is the position from which the viewer sees that makes the image, not mainly my personal gaze as a photographer.

In this way it might be claimed that my pictures follow surrealism more than realism in their fundamental wish to question the very nature of reality itself, and frame actual desire more than a motive seen by the photographic eye.    

In the end, at least from my point of view, my photographs can be seen as little invitations for the viewer to have a look at the position from which he or she sees  – since, after all, there is no look from nowhere.

No look from Nowhere, colour photographs, 50*50 cm. Ongoing project.